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SacPete1

On the Game Day Roster
Good article by Curran and some pointed remarks about M. Brown from Mayo which contradicts remarks by some players last week about Brown being one of the more underrated players.

For all the talk about the last play of the game and mental mistakes. this is what concerned me most and those chunk runs were just inexcusable.

Pats getting run over on defense
 

mcmurtry86

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
The team has one of the worst DL in football and easily a bottom 3 DT pairing.

Tough to play good defense if you can’t stop the run and can’t generate pressure without blitzing. The whole unit needs to be rebuilt. The only guy worth anything is Flowers who is unlikely to be back next year.

Brown has been a liability for years inside. Too slow to offer any pass rush and not strong enough to be a force in the run game. The Pats have had a bad DL so frequently in the past 10 years that fans seem to forget what good DL play looks like and how impactful it is to a defense
 

JayNM

In the Starting Line-Up
I honestly never see Brown on the field

I mean, obviously I SEE him, he's massive, basically a mammoth... but you get my point...
 

Kontradiction

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The article is actually incorrect. The Patriots are allowing 4.9 per carry - the worst in the Belichick era. Not even the lowly 2002 run defense accomplished that. And "the best DT on the team," Brown, is certainly responsible for his fair share. So is/was the total failure of a signing, Shelton. Guy is merely a JAG and has actually been the best DT we have, which should tell you everything you need to know. They need to go DT in the draft and do it early. This year has an excellent crop of them. Until then, that position and the inability to consistently contain the run may be the team's undoing (again) in the postseason.
 

Sicilian

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The article is actually incorrect. The Patriots are allowing 4.9 per carry - the worst in the Belichick era. Not even the lowly 2002 run defense accomplished that. And "the best DT on the team," Brown, is certainly responsible for his fair share. So is/was the total failure of a signing, Shelton. Guy is merely a JAG and has actually been the best DT we have, which should tell you everything you need to know. They need to go DT in the draft and do it early. This year has an excellent crop of them. Until then, that position and the inability to consistently contain the run may be the team's undoing (again) in the postseason.

The only thing that encourages me about the situation is that teams tend to get "scared" (for lack of a better word) running the ball in the playoffs. Something about the pressure makes them abandon it if it isn't working early, especially if you're talking about a coach who tends to fold in pressure situations (aka, Andy Reid). Now, this is not a HUGE encouragement for me, as the Chiefs could run precisely 0 times in a game and still be incredibly dangerous offensively, and I think either of the most likely NFC champs (Rams and Saints) won't fall prey to that trap. But still, I always feel like bad run defenses get a little bit better in the postseason for some reason. We'll see, something has to change between now and then for sure.
 

Kontradiction

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The only thing that encourages me about the situation is that teams tend to get "scared" (for lack of a better word) running the ball in the playoffs. Something about the pressure makes them abandon it if it isn't working early, especially if you're talking about a coach who tends to fold in pressure situations (aka, Andy Reid). Now, this is not a HUGE encouragement for me, as the Chiefs could run precisely 0 times in a game and still be incredibly dangerous offensively, and I think either of the most likely NFC champs (Rams and Saints) won't fall prey to that trap. But still, I always feel like bad run defenses get a little bit better in the postseason for some reason. We'll see, something has to change between now and then for sure.

I could see the Rams falling into that trap. McVay is a younger play caller. I don't see the Saints doing it. Payton is an assassin of a play caller. And the Saints' ground game is why I think the Pats would get torn up by them on a neutral field.
 

Kontradiction

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Dexter Lawerence is the guy we need. Will probs need to trade up to get him but he’s the guy.

I love Lawrence but he has also dealt with some injuries. I'd just as soon grab his running mate up front, Wilkins.
 

Sicilian

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I could see the Rams falling into that trap. McVay is a younger play caller. I don't see the Saints doing it. Payton is an assassin of a play caller. And the Saints' ground game is why I think the Pats would get torn up by them on a neutral field.

I agree 100% on the Saints. I'm not sure about McVay... he's young, but that could easily make him a bit more brazen. Reid we have a track record of him bumbling time management and turtling. I feel like McVay won't do that (until he proves he will). Then again, I might just have PTSD from a young, offensive minded coach shredding us in a Super Bowl. Not sure why...
 

FreeTedWilliams

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I miss the days of having Wilfork Seymour and Warren on the front.

Well if the Pats had not had two first round picks stolen and traded away their superstar for a bag of magic beans......

Once again, could have drafted Dunlap, who is still an excellent player in 2018, instead BB drafted Jermaine Cunningham, who has been serving up fries since 2013!

Here is his career highlights from Wikipedia....

Cunningham struggled through his second season, recording only one tackle on the season. On a defense that was ranked 31st out of 32 teams, Cunningham was a regular healthy scratch. Cunningham played mostly special teams and rarely saw action in the defensive line rotation.

On November 26, 2012 Cunningham was suspended for violating the NFL performance-enhancing substances policy.[6]

After 3.5 sacks in three seasons, the Patriots cut Cunningham on August 31, 2013, not surviving the final cuts.

and he was a better draft pick than his fellow Gator, Easley!

I thought the drafting of Brown was great, but he has been average at best. But the Cunningham and Easley picks are unforgivable!
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Completely whiffing on the damaged-goods, under-motivated, athletically-unimpressive Vinnie Valentine, comically over-drafted by MULTIPLE rounds when the Much More highly-regarded Andrew Billings, who at least has become a serviceable rotation DT for the Bungles, was still available, also has contributed to such paucity of talent on the DL that Adam Butler, a Practice Squad talent, is a game-day active.

Another example of a possible missed opportunity is the discarding of a 4th-round pick (#117) to Tampa in order to move up a whopping 7 places (from #63 to #56) and guarantee the availability of...the Duke (but Not of Dorchester) Dawson? Meanwhile, local dude and Patriots legacy Maurice Hurst Jr, a top-50 talent at 3-Tech DT who dropped because of concerns about an irregular EKG discovered at the combine, was still available at #117.
 

Hyped

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A few years ago, Tedy Bruschi said that if the DL was not doing their job...you would be seeing their jersey numbers along the LOS because it would mean that they were being pushed off the LOS and turning sideways.

I am not seeing jersey numbers a lot along the LOS. What I am seeing is players completely out of position or completely whiffing on tackles before the RB hits the 2nd level.

This makes me think it is a result of us playing a lighter box up front to have an extra guy in the secondary. We play a lot of sub defense packages.

Not sure what the hell happened in Miami...it was a terrible effort by the entire team with Stills getting open constantly and Gore ripping off runs like he was still 25 years old.
 

Kontradiction

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A few years ago, Tedy Bruschi said that if the DL was not doing their job...you would be seeing their jersey numbers along the LOS because it would mean that they were being pushed off the LOS and turning sideways.

I am not seeing jersey numbers a lot along the LOS. What I am seeing is players completely out of position or completely whiffing on tackles before the RB hits the 2nd level.

This makes me think it is a result of us playing a lighter box up front to have an extra guy in the secondary. We play a lot of sub defense packages.

Not sure what the hell happened in Miami...it was a terrible effort by the entire team with Stills getting open constantly and Gore ripping off runs like he was still 25 years old.

We've actually been seeing that quite a bit. Watch Bolden's run for a good example of it...


...around the 2:50 mark.
 

mcmurtry86

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I thought the drafting of Brown was great, but he has been average at best. But the Cunningham and Easley picks are unforgivable!

Brown had the same issues in college. Too slow to be an impact 3-technique and not enough bulk/strength to play on the nose. He was a guy whose upside was “solid at everything, great at nothing” but his failure to break out in New England was predictable. It was a weird fit from the beginning.

The predictable failure of Easley and Brown, the theft of a 1st rounder, coupled with a lack of success in mid/late rounders has made the team overly reliant on stop gap veterans who have has a mixed success rate ranging from mediocre (Guy) to great (Branch for his first season or two) to horrendous (Shelton).

One of the biggest failures was not moving on from Easley early enough. They cut him weeks after Hicks signed with the Bears. Reportedly, the Pats couldn’t offer enough playing time to Hicks - who wanted a short “prove it” deal - because they thought Easley would get lots of snaps. Hicks got assurances from Chicago that he’d get tons of snaps to “prove it” which (again, reportedly) is why he went to Chicago. People forget that Hicks didn’t leave for a huge contract. He signed the big money deal after a year on a smaller contract.

Easley was easily the worst pick in the Belichick era. That disaster was predictable from Day 1 and is still biting them in the butt as they continuously scramble to find adequate DT’s. Following that up with Brown, on his best days a mediocre player and often below average, and then a stolen pick is really at the core of their roster problem right now. Getting virtually nothing out of 3 straight 1st round picks is a killer. You can overcome if you hit big with undrafted guys and/or veterans but that’s very hard to do consistently (as we have seen with other position groupings over the years).
 

supafly

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The team has one of the worst DL in football and easily a bottom 3 DT pairing.

Tough to play good defense if you can’t stop the run and can’t generate pressure without blitzing. The whole unit needs to be rebuilt. The only guy worth anything is Flowers who is unlikely to be back next year.

Brown has been a liability for years inside. Too slow to offer any pass rush and not strong enough to be a force in the run game. The Pats have had a bad DL so frequently in the past 10 years that fans seem to forget what good DL play looks like and how impactful it is to a defense
I don’t know that I’d agree about Flowers being the only player worth anything, but the DL isn’t good, that’s for sure. I think you’re right that we’ll see what amounts to a pretty major overhaul. I also think that there’s a chance that Flowers returns.
 
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